#6 Illini in Fifth After 36 Holes at Valspar Invitational
March 24, 2014
PALM CITY, Fla. - After a day with conditions ripe for low scores but a challenging course at the par-71, 7,114-yard Floridian Golf Club, the sixth-ranked Fighting Illini showed they can hang with the nation's best and sit in fifth place thanks to a team score of 558 (-10) after 36 holes - the fifth-best 36-hole score in school history - at The Valspar Invitational at Floridian presented by Insperity, just four shots behind co-leaders Oklahoma State and Georgia Tech (-14).
LSU is in third at -12 and SMU is fourth at -11. UCLA and Florida State are tied for sixth at -7, while Tennessee and Texas A&M are tied for eighth at -6. Illinois starts the final round off No. 1 Tuesday at 7:48 a.m., alongside SMU and UCLA.
Fifth-year senior Jonathan Hauter (pronounced HAW-ter) and sophomore Charlie Danielson are tied for 10th with matching 138s (-4), while sophomore Thomas Detry and junior Brian Campbell are tied for 22nd at -1. Florida State's Jack Maguire holds the individual lead at -11 after posting Monday's only 65 in the first round and a 66 in the second round.
"I thought it was a solid day," Illinois head coach Mike Small said. "With this type of field on this golf course, it was a pretty good day. Jonathan Hauter was a big bright spot today. He really brought it today and played a solid 36 holes. All the other guys had a solid day, too. It was a very resilient day. We made a huge amount of par saves today, so that's something we can clean up tomorrow. We're still working on some things and I thought the guys played really tough-minded golf today and really hung in there after some loose shots. Considering the field and the time of year, it was a good day."
In fact, Hauter and Campbell tied with three others for the fourth-most pars on the day, recording 26 among his 36 holes. Hauter also played the par-5s well, going 3-under-par on the eight par-5s. Danielson posted the third-most birdies in the field with 11, including seven in his first round. Danielson twice reeled off strings of three consecutive birdies during the 36-hole day, one in each round.
Hauter started strong in his first round, birdying his first three holes. A birdie on the par-4 10th put him back to -2 but he got the shot back on the par-5 15th. He bogeyed No. 16 but recovered with a birdie at the par-4 17th before finishing his round with seven straight pars. He stayed consistent in his second round, birdying the par-3 8th - his second hole of the round - before notching six consecutive pars. Another birdie on 15 put him at 2-under for the round but a bogey at the par-4 3rd hole left him with a 1-under 70 in round two.
Danielson had a bit rockier of a day but still managed to hold it together. In round one, he birdied Nos. 6 and 8 - his second and fourth holes after starting on the par-5 5th - to quickly get to -2. A bogey on No. 9 and a birdie on the 10th canceled out but he bogeyed two of his next four holes to fall back to even par through 10 holes. That's when he got hot, though, rattling off three straight birdies on Nos. 15-17. A bogey at the par-4 18th brought him back to reality but he righted the ship with a par on the par-4 1st hole before finishing with three pars for a 68. His second round wasn't quite as eventful, but started with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 5 and 6. After a par at the par-5 7th, he notched five more pars before another string of three consecutive birdies - this time from Nos. 13-15 - and four more pars in a row. A bogey at the par-3 2nd left him at even, but he birdied No. 3 to finish with a 1-under 70 in round two.
Detry also had an interesting day, battling through a double-bogey in each round to finish 1-under on the day. In the first round, he birdied No. 6 - his third hole - but dropped a double-bogey on the par-4 9th. A birdie on the 10th got him back to even but he bogeyed No. 12. He reversed course with an eagle at the par-5 13th, though, and birdied No. 15 to get to -2 after 12 holes. But bogeys on Nos. 18 and 2 gave him an even-par 71. In the second round, the sophomore from Belgium started much stronger, posting three birdies in his first seven holes to get to -3. He added three pars on holes 11-13 but went double bogey-birdie-bogey-birdie to drop back to -2 with four holes remaining. He carded three pars in a row before notching a bogey at the par-4 3rd hole to finish 1-under in the second round.
Campbell birdied his second and third holes of the first round after starting on the par-4 6th, bogeyed No. 9 and birdied No. 10 to stand -2 through five holes. A bogey on the par-3 12th set him back to -1 but he got the shot back with a birdie at the par-3 16th before cruising in with seven consecutive pars for a 2-under 69. He started his second round with a birdie at the 6th but dropped a double-bogey at the par-5 7th. He bogeyed the par-4 11th to fall as far as 2-over before carding seven consecutive pars to get through the course's back nine. A birdie on No. 1 brought him back to +1 and that's where he finished, leaving him at -1 on the day.
David Kim struggled throughout the day, counting two double-bogeys and a triple-bogey as neither of his scores counted for the Illini. Kim got back to even twice in the first round but always followed it with a black mark, and carded only five birdies on the day. His 75-80=155 (+13) has him tied for 73rd with 18 holes to go.